IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Greece Accepts Austerity for Bailout: What Next?

There were violent clashes in Athens early Thursday while the Greek parliament voted to accept austerity measures as a condition of a third bailout.

ATHENS, Greece — There was sweat, blood and tears on the streets of Athens early Thursday as violent clashes broke out while the Greek parliament voted to accept austerity measures that are a condition of a third bailout.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, the reform bill that will pave the way for financial aid worth $94 billion was approved with 229 votes in the 300-seat chamber. There were 64 votes against it and six abstentions.

There were rebellions inside and outside parliament during the vote. Some of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' own party voted against the measures, and up to 10,000 anti-austerity protesters demonstrated across the Greek capital. Some of the rallies became violent and police used tear gas to try to disperse groups throwing petrol bombs.

Although the controversial proposals were approved, Tsipras lost the support of a quarter of Syriza party members of parliament.

Cabinet reshuffle

Some 39 hardliners within Tsipras' own party voted against the bailout package, which requires vast spending cuts, pension reforms and tax rises, including former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, the energy minister and deputy labor minister. Deputy Finance Minister Nadia Valavani resigned ahead of the vote.

A cabinet reshuffle is now widely expected, and some analysts warned new elections could be on the horizon.

Related: 'Revolution': Greeks Are Unhappy with Debt Deal

"Tsipras will try a cabinet reshuffle, but if that fails to sure up confidence in Syriza, a worst case scenario would be snap elections," Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets said in a note Thursday morning.

Former Greek finance minister Gikas Hardouvelis agreed.

"He (Tsipras) passed the legislation (but) he lost a quarter of his MPs who said 'no'... The minimum (thing to expect now) would be the reshuffling of the government," he told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box" Thursday.

"It's very important for Mr. Tsipras — if he wants to stay in power — to ensure that his ministers do believe in the reforms and work hard and push. He cannot afford to have people in the ministries that are against what has been decided now."

We apologize, this video has expired.

Despite Tsipras saying ahead of the vote that he did not believe in the deal, Hardouvelis said the prime minister could implement the reforms if he believed they were progressive.

"Opening up professions, fighting oligopolies, fixing the public sector, justice sector and tax system -- all these things give power to the people," he said. "If he is a part of that and he does do reforms, he will succeed. But if he does not…he will be gone from the political scene. It's up to him at this point."

Snap elections in Greece could happen in September or October, Hardouvelis added.

The approval of the bailout terms by the Greek parliament is expected to pave the way for Greece to access European Union funds via the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism — a short-term financing solution. This has, however, caused consternation among non-euro-zone countries like the U.K., which fears its taxpayers will end up funding part of Greece's bailout.

Debt writedown

Although its short-term financing needs look likely to be met, the question of Greece's debt still looms large.

Greece has already received two bailouts and is struggling to make the repayments to its lenders, having missed two payments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech during a parliament meeting in Athens, early Thursday.Thanassis Stavrakis / AP

Indeed, the IMF caused a stir ahead of the vote calling for Greek debt writedown, although Germany (the largest euro zone lender to Greece) has so-far opposed debt forgiveness, arguing that it could set precedence for other indebted members of the single currency bloc.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that a solution to Greece's problems without a debt haircut would be difficult, Reuters reported.

However, he told Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio that such a move would be incompatible with the country's membership of the euro, meaning that a temporary exit from the single currency "would perhaps be the better way."

This article first appeared on